You understand how there’s some outstanding vehicles that simply type of perpetually bounce across the collective consciousness of gearheads, periodically re-emerging to as soon as once more dazzle/delight/disgust a brand new crop of car-fetishists? After all you do. Some of the enduring of those comet-like vehicles needs to be the hilarious half-Subaru Brat, half-Volkswagen Beetle that we right here at Jalopnik have been writing up for years, going all the way back to 2009. That’s fairly superb. It’s for sale yet again, which suggests I’m being despatched messages about it continuous, so this time I made a decision to speak to the proprietor a bit about this bizarre little little bit of sausage within the world automotive gumbo.
I reached out to Glenn, the present custodian of the Subabeetle or no matter you need to name the 1985 Subaru Brat/1973 Beetle slamwich, and located that he’s truly solely had it 4 months or so, having bought it from “an outdated man in Florida.”
I requested Glenn if he had any perception into the story of this factor, the way it got here to be, and sadly, he didn’t, just a few hypothesis that’s seemingly fairly near what most of us have guessed:
“No clue, I might say two wrecked vehicles and a few alcohol have been concerned.”
And, actually, that appears a fairly seemingly, if unconfirmed, origin story.
I requested what everybody actually needs to know, which is how does it drive, particularly with each entrance and rear engines engaged—is it the all-wheel drive, flat-eight expertise we’re all secretly craving?
Sadly, however not shockingly, no.
The difficulty is that “except you’re an octopus” you’ll be able to’t actually drive it with each engines engaged, and Glenn went on to verify this by exhibiting me the pedal setup on this factor:
Aaah. Yeah, okay, I get it now. It appears to be like like the 2 drivetrains will not be actually linked in any respect, therefore the dual clutches and twin throttles. It appears to be like like simply the Subaru brake system is dealing with all of the stopping, although.
So, for those who drive it, you’ll be able to select from the Brat’s liquid-cooled flat-four making about 70one thing horsepower for these entrance wheels, or, if water is scarce, you’ll be able to benefit from the Beetle’s 50-ish HP air-cooled flat-four and its iconic rattly soundtrack.
I guess with observe you might discover a way to make use of each directly, for that AWD 120HP monster expertise, however I believe that might take loads of observe and possibly deal with very unusually.
Based mostly on the pedal placement and the truth that’s a traditional VW pedal meeting (properly, minus the clutch extend-o-tube), I feel the Volkswagen floorpan extends all the best way to the entrance right here, and should type of simply slide below/contained in the Subaru’s unibody.
There’s two shifters, two batteries, and you’ll see the VW’s ignition swap on the sprint there, simply above the Subaru shifter. I used to be informed there’s only one gas cell for each engines to drink from, and it takes up the entire rear baggage properly of the Beetle-butt, so the automotive actually doesn’t have any devoted baggage area apart from the glovebox. You might fold the Beetle’s seat down, I suppose.
The bodywork is definitely very properly accomplished, and Glenn says that it appears to be like fairly seamless the place the Airplane of Merging can be, and it feels strong and well-constructed. Whoever first had this absurd dream certain managed to appreciate it properly. Plus, look how the broader decrease physique space of the Subaru will get properly inset simply earlier than the Beetle’s rear fender there—this isn’t some fast tack-welding job, actual work went into this.
Glenn has titles to each vehicles, apparently sufficient, and the Beetle’s was final signed in 1994, which can give a tough concept about when the pair have been first siamese’d. It’s presently registered below the Subaru’s title.
It’s met its reserve on eBay, and is just at a cut price worth of $2,500, however I actually hope whomever’s fingers this much-seen beast falls into will actually respect it.
I really feel prefer it’s time for a brand new paintjob, eliminate these goofy decals, and actually do it up proper. Let’s get a brand new bumper on the rear of the Beetle, with good chrome and the right rubber influence strip, and perhaps even match a kind of unbelievable “cyclops eye” badge-flip-up middle headlamps onto the Subaru there.
The Subabeetle has, over time, develop into an icon of the Better International Goofball Automotive Neighborhood, and I consider it has earned a specific amount of respect. I do know Glenn is reluctant to eliminate it, however his present secure of vehicles, which features a Nissan 280Z, a race-prepped Porsche 944, and an Audi Quattro, is maintaining him lots busy/broke.
So, subsequent custodian of the Beetlebrat or Subabeetle or no matter you name it, I hope you’re ready for the gravity of what you’re taking up. I look ahead to getting the hyperlink to this factor emailed to me time and again the following time it’s up on the market.